Ljajic's United move in doubt
Confusion surrounds the transfer of Serbian starlet Adem Ljajic to Manchester United, with reports claiming the deal is off.
Last Updated: 03/12/09 10:37am
Confusion surrounds the transfer of Serbian starlet Adem Ljajic to Manchester United, with reports suggesting the English side have pulled out of a deal to sign the Partizan Belgrade ace
Ljajic was part of the £16.5million swoop that also saw his Partizan team-mate Zoran Tosic move to Old Trafford in January.
The 18-year-old was due to arrive at United next month, but the Premier League champions are understood to have had second thoughts on signing the player and have informed Partizan they no longer want to pursue a deal.
It has been claimed United held a get-out clause on Ljajic in the initial transfer and that they have decided to pull the plug on the move after monitoring his progress over the last year.
A United spokesperson said: "We had an option to buy the player but, having closely monitored his development over the past 12 months, and taken into consideration the young players emerging through the ranks at the club, we have not chosen to pursue the transfer."
However, president Dragan Djuric claims work permit problems are proving the sticking point for any transfer to be sealed.
"I read the news in our media about the possibility that Adem Ljajic will not go to Manchester," Djuric told the Serbian media.
"All this is in the field of speculation. The truth is that Manchester United has not yet arranged a work permit to our players, but so far none of them refused.
"Maybe the news came because Manchester United is in financial crisis, but believe me we did not get anything official."
Ljajic's agent, Mladen Furtala, is refusing to panic and remains hopeful the move will eventually go through.
"As far as I know, the only problem is the work permit," said Furtala.
"Manchester can solve this quickly. Journalists called me, asking what was happening, but I am confident that everything will be OK at best and that from January Ljajic will be officially a Manchester United player."